Advisory booklet - How to manage performance
The aim of managing performance is to continuously improve the performance of individuals and that of the organisation. It involves making sure that the performance of employees contributes to the goals of their teams and the business as a whole.
Download the Advisory booklet - how to manage performance [1Mb]
Good performance management helps everyone in the organisation to know:
- what the business is trying to achieve
- their role in helping the business achieve its goals
- the skill and competencies they need to fulfil their role
- the standards of performance required
- how they can develop their performance and contribute to development of the organisation
- how they are doing
- when there are performance problems and what to do about them.
If employees are engaged in their work they are more likely to be doing their best for your organisation. An engaged employee is someone who:
- takes pride in their job and shows loyalty towards their line manager, team or organisation
- goes the extra mile - particularly in areas like customer service, or where employees need to be creative, responsive or adaptable.
The way to manage performance should be fair to all staff and decisions should be based on merit, managers must not discriminate against employees in the way they manage performance.
All managers with responsibilities for performance management must receive training to help them manage performance effectively. This should include information on the objectives of performance management, how it will operate and what their role will be. Employees will also need training in how to set their objectives and training in other aspects of the system.
There are three aspects to planning an individual's performance:
- objectives which the employee is expected to achieve
- competencies or behaviours - the way in which employees work towards their objectives
- personal development - the development employees need in order to achieve objectives and realise their potential
A regular dialogue between line managers and their team members is at the heart of performance management. Managers should discuss work as it goes along by holding regular informal meetings about:
- how the employee is doing in terms of objectives and competencies and might be added to the employees record of achievement
- things to think about that might be enhanced further
- areas to work on and any concerns about performance. These can feed into the employee's development plan.
Reviewing performance typically has three elements:
- regular informal meeting where line managers discuss current work and development
- formal interim meeting to discuss progress against performance plan
- annual appraisal review where the work of the year is discussed and feedback given.
Questions and answers
What is the role of the line manager?
The line managers are best placed to talk to employees, to listen to their concerns, counsel and coach them, to check they meet their targets and to ensure they are committed to the business.
What are SMART objectives mean?
The SMART acronym is a useful way of getting objectives right:
- Specific - objectives should state a desired outcome. What does the employee need to achieve?
- Measurable - how will the manager and employee know when an objective has been achieved?
- Achievable - is the objective something the employee is capable of achieving but also challenging?
- Relevant - do objectives relate to those of the team / department / business?
- Timebound - when does the objective need to be achieved?
What is a personal development plan?
A personal development plan is where development needs are set out. They need not be complicated but may include:
- The development needed
- How the development will be achieved
- When the development will be achieved
- How the achievement will be measured
Acas Model Workplace
Free and easy to use, the Acas Model Workplace helps you to check how good your organisation is at people management - from recruitment to performance management.
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